Brain abnormalities in neuromyelitis optica (NMO) have been reported previously, but the pathophysiological mechanism and clinical relevance of these abnormalities are poorly understood. We assessed the prevalence and patterns of brain MRI abnormalities in a Brazilian cohort of patients with NMO. Conventional brain MRI and medical records from 24 Brazilian patients with NMO were retrospectively evaluated. Brain MRI were classified into four subgroups: normal, non-specific lesions, multiple sclerosis (MS)-like lesions, and typical lesions. Brain lesions were detected in 19 patients (79.2%). Fourteen patients (58.3%) had non-specific lesions, three (12.5%) had MS-like lesions, and two (8.3%) had typical lesions. Differences between these subgroups with respect to the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores (p=0.86) were not significant. This study demonstrates a high prevalence of brain abnormalities in Brazilian patients with NMO; however, we did not find a significant relationship between these abnormalities and EDSS scores.
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